Frankenhooker (1990) Review

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Step right up see the exploding hooker.

Frankenhooker (1990): 8 out of 10: Any movie featuring both super crack and exploding hookers will have to work pretty hard to disappoint me.

Throw in the fact that the director is none other than Basket Case auteur Frank Henenlotter (Where has he been the last ten years?) and the lead is Street Trash scene stealer James Lorinz (Only found in small screen bit parts of late) and I was expecting to be blown away like, well, like an exploding hooker.

Frankenhooker alas isn’t necessarily all that good. The female lead (Penthouse model Patty Mullen) is a good sport but not an actual actress, and the movie really loses some steam in the third act when the titular character becomes the focus. Also exploding hookers sound better on the page than Henenlotter presents it on screen.

What works, however, works very well. Lorinz is at his quirky schizophrenic best and nobody does Dinkins’ era New York sleaze like Henenlotter. For all its faults, the movie is entertaining enough.

What are most fun are the scenes of depravity and drug use that we usually associate with a too serious by half urban drama rather than a straightforward horror – comedy. (It’s like an Abel Ferrara movie done for laughs) The plenteous collection of native crazies Henenlotter puts together make for a dynamic viewing experience. The movie is also genuinely funny and the humor never feels forced.

If the thought of exploding hookers and super crack fills you with an irrelevant glee, then I highly recommend this film. If you feel that these are serious social issues that should not be mocked, then stay very far away.

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